Volvo and Grey London Invent an Invisible Paint That Lights Up Cyclists at Night

Another safety innovation with LifePaint

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Safety is a huge part of the Volvo brand. And now, the automaker, with help from Grey London, is extending the concept beyond its own drivers—to cyclists with whom they share the road—and beyond advertising, into product development.

Client and agency have collaborated with Swedish startup Albedo100 to produce LifePaint, a reflective safety spray designed to increase the visibility and safety of cyclists and others on the road at night. Invisible in the daytime, the spray glows brightly in the glare of headlights at night.

Here's the launch video for it:

It's not really paint. The transparent spray washes off and will not affect the color or surface of materials. It can be applied to almost any fabric—clothes, shoes, strollers, children's backpacks, even dog leads and collars—and last about a week after application.

Beginning today, 2000 cans of LifePaint will be given away at six London and Kent-based bike shops. If successful, the project will expand nationally and perhaps internationally.

"Our job isn't just to advertise our clients," said Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of Grey London. "It's to help them make a positive impact on culture. With the creation of LifePaint, we've turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?"

Grey also used LifePaint to create "invisible" black posters that only reveal their message in the flash of a smartphone.

"This is the sort of work we want to be making," says Grey London creative director Hollie Newton. "Properly integrated innovation. Design a valuable, remarkable product for a brand, and then launch it with the same level of craft."


Client: Volvo

Creative Agency: Grey London

Chief Creative Officer: Nils Leonard

Creative Director: Hollie Newton

Creative Team: Jonas Roth, Rasmus Smith Bech

Account Team: Cristyn Bevan, Sophie Critchley, Alex Nixon

Planning: Wiktor Skoog

Head of Film: Glenn Paton

Integrated Producer: Francesca Mair

Assistant Producer: Talia Shear

Designer, Typographer: Chris Chapman

Creative Producers: Helen Llewelyn, Glen McLeod

LifePaint Collaborators: Albedo100

Production Company: Caviar

Director: Andrew Telling

Director of Photography: Jeremy Valender

Executive Producer: Louise Gagen

Producer: Adam Smith

Editor: Matt Newman at GreyWorks

Colorist: Julien Biard at Finish

Postproduction: Gramercy Park Studios

VFX Supervisor/Lead flame: Mark Beardall

2D Artists: Jamie Russell, Steve Miller, Kalle Kohlström 

Post Producer: Annika Gustavsson

Sound Design: Munzie Thind at Grand Central Studios

Music Composition: Adam Halogen via Wake The Tow

Microsite: Paul Cackett, Piers Cleveland-Copeman, Johan Runge-Goransson @

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.